The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that Sabarimala is meant for devotees and stated that the state government should be able to identify those with a ‘hidden agenda’ who intend to ruin the peace at the shrine. Expressing concern over the current political turmoil at the hill shrine in Pathanamthitta over women of menstruating age entering the temple, the court added that if the government was not able to control the law and order situation at the temple, outside agencies too could be brought in for help.
Submitting a report on protestors at the temple, the Sabarimala Special Commissioner in the report said that it would be difficult to provide protection as the protestors have become more vigilant now, following the entry of the two women - Bindu and Kanakadurga - last week. Regarding the entry of these women, the High Court even wondered if there was a ‘hidden agenda’ behind their visit. It also asked whether there should be a probe to find if there are any external forces aiding them, according to reports.
A division bench comprising of Justices PR Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar enquired why a private vehicle carrying women from an activist group - Manithi - were allowed by the police to go from Pamba to Nilakkal recently. The bench also asked for notices to be sent to the leaders of the Sabarimala Karma Samithi over violence that broke out following the entry of the two women into the temple.
The court’s observations came after reports filed by the observer’s committee, Sabarimala Special Commissioner and the Pathanamthitta district police chief.
Kerala witnessed violence protests across many districts during the statewide hartal which was organised last Thursday following the entry of Bindu and Kanakadurga, two women of menstruating age into the temple. In many areas, protestors clashed with the police and in other places such as Thiruvananthapuram journalists were attacked by protestors while they were covering the protests on January 3. Over 5000 people have been arrested from across the state following the violent protests.